Friday, June 30, 2006

Osama Bin Laden

[Update on February 1, 2015: Ha! I couldn't have been more wrong if I tried. And I was foolish enough to say this on a public blog. Ooooops.]

I want to state, for the record, that I think Osama Bin Laden died in late 2001 or early 2002. I think all of the video/audio tapes of him since that time have been fakes. I think he is George Bush's Emmanuel Goldstein. I can't believe people have allowed themselves to believe otherwise for almost five years now.

Monday, June 26, 2006


I've always been fascinated by the silly decisions people make regarding money. The topic shows up in my reading list fairly often, most recently with Freakonomics and Stumbling on Happiness. But I've always been doubly fascinated when the person making the silly economic decision is ME. I pride myself on my generally sound economic sense, but this morning I pulled a move that I still (two hours after the fact) can't stop laughing about... I was up late last night, studying how to build a strobe light that can flash for only 1/1,000,000th of a second, when I realized I needed to buy a few electronic parts. Or maybe more than a few. I freely admit that I got a bit carried away at one point ("Oh! Used disposable cameras for $1.00 each? Gimme 15 of those! 0.47 microfarad low-esr high-voltage film capacitors for only $3.00 each? Gimme 5!) Nonetheless, I managed to limit my damage to ~$150.00. I gave more than that to charitable organizations last month, so I slept well, knowing that I only slightly overstepped reasonable bounds. Here's where things got silly: This morning, I put in my contacts and noticed they were quite uncomfortable. I realized it had been over a month since I opened a new pair, but thought "I'll just put up with the discomfort today, then put in a new pair tomorrow." My motivation was economic. I didn't want to "waste" a still-usable pair of contacts. My contacts cost something on the order of $3.00/pair. But I wear them 16 hours/day for 30 days. Yes, I made a choice to have my eyes hurt all day because I wanted to save $0.10 worth of contact lens usage. A mere six hours earlier, I put 1,500 times as much value on junk electric parts than I was putting on 16 hours of eye pain. I amaze myself. (For the record, the instant I caught myself on this, I ditched my old contacts, put in a new pair, and promised myself I would replace my contacts on a more regular schedule, ignoring the "cost" of doing so.)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

At Your Service

This would be a much cooler business card if I were a hitman. I have to find a way to get my flash to fire faster than 1/10,000th of a second. If only I could get it down to 1/1,000,000th or so... then I could take some really interesting pictures.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Suicide King

The King of Hearts is also known as the Suicide King. Suicide is for wimps, so I decided to help my king out a bit and commit regicide.

Click on the image for a larger version.

Monday, June 19, 2006

How many lumps?

Tonight's project: Shoot sugar cubes with a pellet gun. I used a home-made sound trigger to fire the flash.

I don't even want to think about the ant problem I'm going to have over the next few days. Click on the photo for the full six-shot sequence.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

More Smoke

I uploaded a few more smoke pictures, and included a writeup on how I did it for those naysayers who think I photoshopped the entire set. I also included the raw pictures from the camera, with cropping but absolutely zero color manipulation. Click the image to go to today's gallery.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Smoke Break

Introducing the next in my series of photography cliches: Smoke. Click on the picture to see a few other examples. The cool thing about surrealist photography projects is that, when you make a technical flaw, you can simply photoshop the heck out of it and pretend the photoshopping was part of the "artistic process." Remember, I'm not trying to take pictures of smoke, I'm trying to make pictures using smoke. That's my line, and I'm sticking to it.